EU Parliament piles pressure for reform of broken asylum system
Cracks have emerged in the EU because of migration. And now there's pressure from the European Parliament to fix the broken asylum system, seen as one of the root causes of the bloc's problems.
"European citizens have shown us in the Eurobarometer that they want the EU to deliver on asylum and migration. Failure simply cannot be anymore an option," said Cecilia Wikström, a Swedish MEP.
Right now, the so-called Dublin regulations dictate that asylum requests are handled by the country where they're first claimed. This has been crippling the likes of Italy and Greece where migrants can be stuck for months.
So now there's a proposal on the table for a new compulsory quota mechanism to share the numbers, and to give applicants more flexibility in where they make applications.
But quotas have been knocked on the head in the past by countries such as Hungary and Poland.
As the same time, Bulgaria is calling for pre-Dublin checks to assess migrant eligibility - something the South sees as making the situation worse.
"A reform that exacerbates the disproportionate responsibility of countries of first arrival clearly is problematic because when there is a disproportionate responsibility for them, they have a a perverse incentive to keep the reception conditions so poor that people don’t want to stay there," said Catherine Woollad, Secretary-General of the European Council on Refugees and Exiles.
There's pressure to find a solution before Austria gets the rotating presidency of the EU. It takes a hard line against migration.